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Discussion Starter #1
I'm making a trailer to pull behind a '94 Goldwing. Almost done with the trailer, so started working on the wiring.
I added an isolater to the bike(plug and play to the rear lights, power directly from the battery). Out of that, I get the proper signal from all leads for the lights. Brake, tail, left, right.
Next was the 5 to 4 converter. Soldered that in, tail lights only. Tried another converter, tail only. I've tried 4 converters, tail lights only, so that's not the problem.
I've tried using spare lights, spare lights and a battery, digital test meter. Always the same, tail lights only. If I wire the same lights without the converter, brake and turn will work.
Also, I can't find a bench test procedure for the converters.

I'm almost to the point of adding another set of lights for turn signals to get rid of the converter, but it's got me pi$$ed off. I've added these to at least 6 cars and trucks in the past with no problem. Must be old age making me overlook something simple.
 

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My first clue to your problem was calling it a "5 to 4 converter."

Actually, it is a THREE wire to TWO wire converter, which is supposed to take the vehicle's independent RIGHT BRAKE AND RIGHT TURN SIGNAL light circuits and illuminate the SINGLE BRAKE/TURN SIGNAL filament in the trailer's right taillight.

It does the exact same thing for the LEFT side as well.

If your unit has FIVE wires for the bike side of the connection, and FOUR wires for the trailer side of the connection, you hook up the three as stated BELOW, and hook up the ground as the fourth wire.

IMPORTANT! You must also ground your trailer to your bike's battery ground. If your trailer ball/hitch is not a SOLID ground, then you need to run a ground wire from your trailer's ground to the bike's frame (battery) ground. Otherwise your lights will try to ground through the 3/2 inverter, and you will have the situation you are dealing with now.

I hope this helps you:

There are three basic wires on the BIKE side of the connector. YELLOW is LEFT , GREEN is RIGHT, and RED is BRAKE. The WHITE is a ground, and the BROWN is your running lights.

The TRAILER side has yellow (Left brake and turn signal), green (Right brake and turn signal), Brown (running lights on trailer) and White which is ground to the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had the wires connected to the proper outputs from the bike(double checked, triple checked, verified with meter). I've hooked a spare set of lights directly to the output leads on the bike and they all worked.
I tried using the spare lights, a battery, and a converter, only tail lights worked.
The fact that I can't get any of 4 converters to work tells me it's not the converter, it's something else.
My bench test was like this: 5 wire side, ground wire to battery, one at a time each other wire to battery. 4 wire side, ground to post on light with a jumper to the second light, brown to both lights, yellow to one, green to one. I got tail lights but no brake or turn. What am I missing?
 

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Test the lights in the trailer. Connect a battery negative to the ground lead of the trailer; it will be the recessed contact in the 4-wire connector. Clip the other battery contact to each of the other contacts and look at the lights. When the left/brake contact (yellow) is connected, the bright filament of the left lamp should be on, same for the right/brake (green) contact for the right lamp. When the tail (brown) contact is connected, the dim filaments of both lamps should be on. If this is not the pattern, the trailer is not wired correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wintrsol, that's basically what my bench test was. I just used two spare lights instead of the trailer. I couldn't get brake or turn to work. All the filaments worked without the converter.
I haven't wired the trailer yet because it makes a difference how it's wired depending on if I use the converter or go to 5 to 5 wiring with seperate turn signals.
All the lights should work with the converter during a bench test, but I'm missing something.
 

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So, you connected one side of both bulbs to the ground pin, and the other side of each bulb to two of the other pins? And a bulb would only light when connected from the ground pin to the pin with the brown wire?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I connected ground from the lights to ground on the battery, each of the other wires to the battery would light respective lights. When I added the converter, only the tail light(brown) wire would light up a bulb. If I touched left, right, or stop to the battery, nothing lit up.
 

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Is it possible you have a Chinese knock off converter? Those people can screw up anything!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Anything is possible, but I've tried 4 different ones. At least 2 were Hopkins. I bought another one today, maybe tomorrow I'll get back at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Tried to post a practice pic, no luck. Do you have to go through something like Photobucket? I tried adding as an attachment too. That didn't work, but could be because of my tablet. Its kind of finicky sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
http://s557.photobucket.com/user/dwsonar/library/Mobile Uploads?sort=3&page=1

not sure if this will work, but this should be the light pics.
today was ever stranger. At times, one brake light would come on. Suddenly both, then just the second one. The only time a turn light came on was when I was taking the pic.
The battery had 12.6V, so I'm going to try again with the charger hooked up, just in case it needs a bit more voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Charger took it up to 12.73, but only tail lights would come on. I think I'm even more confused now that some worked a couple times.
 

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12.6 Volts is more than enough. It sounds to me like you might have some high resistance some where in the system. Have you replaced the bulbs, checked the bulb bases and the ground for the light assemblies. I have had some problems recently with trailer lights that were made in a certain overseas country. The ground were just loosely wrapped around a washer on the base and not soldered. Start there and check each connection working your way forward to the converter. Also as stated above make sure you have a good ground. Run a separate one to the lights and the battery. Then tie all the grounds to the converter together. Electrical problems can be frustrating, but attention to detail will work it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The lights I'm trying with are brand new. Going straight to the battery, they work as they should. It's just when the converter is in the mix.
I can't even get a converter to work just using lights and a battery. 5 different converters, two sets of lights.
 

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It sounds like the converter is not getting either the power or the ground. I can't see any reason 5 would be bad, unless you have hooked it up wrong and let the majic smoke out. From the way you describe the hook up it sounds correct.
 
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